Latest News: June 25-July 1, 2020

First United Methodist Church
Bristol, Tennessee
Your Weekly e-Newsletter and Events Schedule
June 25-July 1, 2020

4th Sunday After Pentecost

June 28, 2020
Matthew 10:40-42

Rev. Jane Taylor, District Superintendent

will present a video sermon available on
First United Methodist Church
Facebook page

Sunday, June 28th, 11:00am

This sermon has been provided by Rev. Taylor for use
during the pastor appointment transition period.

Our virtual Facebook sermons with Brandon will resume
Sunday, July 5th.

Schedule Adjustment:

Morning worship at 11:00 a.m. via Facebook Live

The River and the Traditional service will not gather
until further notice per Bishop Taylor.
Our virtual worship together will take their place
until our time of social distancing is lifted.

If you have not connected to FUMC via Facebook,
please go do that. You can also connect to Rev. Berg
on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram.
He will try to share uplifting and empowering things
on those media.
From the Pastor's Pen

We should have been gathering two weeks ago at Lake Junaluska for the Holston Annual Conference. Well, I guess it’s Thursday. We should have been recovering from the events of the past four days, whatever they may have entailed. Lots of arguing about whatever decisions may or may not have been made at the preceding General Conference in May, which also hasn’t yet happened.

Instead, General Conference is happening a year and a half later, in August 2021. This year’s Holston Annual Conference has been vastly abbreviated, and any decision-making or election that might need to happen has been relocated to a different time, a different place, a different group.

So this weekend, the Holston Annual Conference will gather online.

I’m not a fan of this way of doing things. I’d rather see my friends and colleagues in person. I’d rather we join our voices together. I’d rather we sit in our allied groups and cheer or jeer appropriately as members of the Annual Conference take their moments at the microphone. I’d rather we eat and laugh and run and converse together, as one body of many diverse members.

But this is not the time for that.

If you’d like to see how a virtual Annual Conference unfolds, you can probably tune in at 1:00 on Saturday. Holston’s Director of Communications, the Rev. Tim Jones, is ensuring that the live stream is available at, on YouTube, and on the Holston Conference Facebook page. I recommend finding something to do with your hands while you tune in. Grab some knitting, paint some tiny models, do some lesson plans. There are some amazing and miraculous ministries that will be reported on Saturday, but after a couple hours, they may tend to be a bit much.

But they’re important. I think you’d be surprised how much ministry goes on within our Annual Conference, and how much we support outside our geographic boundaries. Don’t just rely on Dr. Gorrell and me to report what’s happening. We’ll do our best, but I think it’ll be a lot more impressive if you see for yourself.

So I hope you’ll take some time to tune in to an unusual Annual Conference in an unusual year. It’s not the same as being there, but nothing is really the same this year. We all just have to do the very best we can.

That’s all God expects of us, anyway.


While we are practicing social distancing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak,
FUMC will not be keeping regular office hours.
If you need to reach Rev. Berg, he will still be responding by email at
and by text or call (276) 237-6498

On June 1st The Holston Conference published a plan for
returning to in-person worship.
Our Administrative Council is carefully considering best practices
to keep us safe in our reconnection.

A link to the document is below should you wish to read the plan in it's entirety.

Last Sunday

District Superintendent Rev. Jane Taylor
presented the sermon via Facebook,
with Rev. Brooke Atchley, United Methodist Missionary

Matthew 10:40-42 Common English Bible (CEB)

“Those who receive you are also receiving me, and those who receive me are receiving the one who sent me.

Those who receive a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward.

Those who receive a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.

I assure you that everybody who gives even a cup of cold water to these little ones because they are my disciples will certainly be rewarded.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see
Was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed
Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far
And Grace will lead us home
And Grace will lead us home
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see
Was blind, but now I see

Songwriter: John Newton

We, as Methodists, recognize
racism as a sin.
We commit to challenging unjust systems of power and access.

Click on the link below to see how you can help.
John Wesley's Birthday

June 17, 1703-March 2, 1791

Click below to read about
the founder of Methodism in his own words, and how his birthday is recorded as June 17 and June 28

Our church has received its quarterly distribution from the
 Kroger Community Rewards Program

19 Households participated
$ 66.73 Total Donations

It's easy to participate. Simply link your Kroger Shopper's Card to First-Bristol, then every time you shop at Kroger a percentage of the sale goes to the church.
For more information click on the link below.
Our Book Study continues this week.

"Part Seven: Worship"

Link to participate:

Topic: Glory Happening book study
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 911 4326 2294
Password: 633880

Link to purchase a copy:

Worship at Sugar Hollow
is still scheduled for July 12th.

Our worship structure and community socialization will no doubt need to be adjusted this year, but plans are underway to worship together outside.

Keep this date on your calendar!
Tithes and offerings may be donated using the

free online giving tool. Choose Clinch Mountain District.

Dinner for ?

has been a total success!

  • those participating have contributed to the
welfare of several locally owned restaurants.

  • Several of us have discovered new,
exciting places to eat.

  • We have felt a sense of support and community.

But, it's time to transition…..

Our final restaurant will be Happy Star this Tuesday for meals.

I think several are beginning to enjoy foods from gardens, Farmers’ Market and having more plans for the Tuesday evening. Now let’s try a SAFE TAILGATE in the Vance Drive parking lot,
next Tuesday, June 30, 5:30pm, weather permitting; it could even be an early Fourth of July "celebration."

Let’s plan on bringing our own food and drink. We must leave one parking space between each car. I think we could have "camp" chairs to sit outside the car just so we social distance with masks. No bathroom facility. Bring your own hand sanitizer.

It would be so great to see each other and send up a corporate prayer for our church, community, country and world. If I’ve missed any safety precautions please email right away. I miss you all so much!

Sue Dietz

Sue Dietz
Lay Leader

The next generation…

Our granddaughter helped lead a Juneteenth walk in Concord, North Carolina last Friday. It was peaceful and attracted about 100 walkers with signs, unfortunately few masks (she had one). My mom would have been as proud as I was. I hope Mom knows! This generation may be just made up of the leaders who will take us into a better world. How do we love them back to church? How can we show we are ready?

What might we do once we are open again? They need to find place of acceptance where they can be themselves and supported. With that can come noise, mess, and unfamiliar lifestyles. How do you feel we have done so far at accepting folks? I feel we have a way to go to make them feel welcome. As one of our older members told me, "We are all God's children." We may not agree on everything, but we can always be a church family of love and consideration.

I so look forward to being back together. There is a lot that needs to be done to ensure safety for all before that happens, but with God's help we will make it. Let's join to help where we are able.

Historical Musings From
Penny Hudson

The Cross on Sparger Road

We don't have an exact year for the big cross on Sparger Road but we know it was erected during the time of Rev. Ronald E. Ingram, who was pastor from 1973-1977.

The cross was in the original plans but the money had run out before the cross could get built and erected. For many years people complained about the church with no cross and how the building looked like a business or some sort of school without a cross.

The 'shell' that would become the chapel had the place for the stained glass window cut out but it was boarded up. The window was put in when construction on the new sanctuary was begun.
The committee heard about a church near Bluff City that had a cross for sale. The cross was almost the same as in the architect's plans. So they bought the big cross. Roy Boggs had a friend who was a civil enginneer, and he designed the concrete foundation for the cross. Roy helped with this project.
I wonder if this was another 'God thing' that the cross so closely matched the design of the architect and that the church in Bluff City happened to sell the cross just at the time when First was able to buy it.
One photograph is from a 1968 church directory with no cross or stained glass in the chapel.
The next photograph shows the big cross and Roy Boggs shortly after the cross was installed. The stained glass window is now in place, as well.

Remembering La Una Williams

Please hold in your prayers the family of La Una Williams; she passed on June 16th in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Her husband J.T. Williams was a long time church member. The couple spent their later years traveling back and forth between Bristol and Stone Mountain, Georgia. He preceded her in death in 2004.
Virtual Holston Annual Conference
June 27, 2020

Theme: I Love to Tell the Story

The conference mission offering this year is directed to
Opioid Addiction Response and Change for Children.
These projects will promote wonderful work in serving and ministering
to those in need.
Please keep these missions in mind as we approach conference.
Send your photos and announcements for the Newsletter
call Julie at 423.914.9820.
For each publication, information is
needed by noon on Wednesday.
June 25-July 1, 2020

Sunday, June 28
11:00am-live-stream service via Facebook
Wednesday, July 1
6:00pm-virtual book study: Glory Happening via Zoom

To make changes or additions to the calendar contact Alan Gorrell 423-652-7377 or Sandy Gorrell 423-652-1987.

First United Methodist Church
Rev. Brandon Berg, Pastor (276.237.6498)
322 Vance Dr., Bristol, TN 37620
Our Vision
Building A Community Where Anyone Can Become A Deeply Committed Christian
    First United Methodist Church of Bristol Tennessee | 322 Vance Drive, Bristol, TN 37620